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BBB Seeks Input for 5-Year Road Map


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By Loookout Staff

February 21, 2024 -- The last time the Big Blue Bus (BBB) conducted a major planning effort, the Expo light rail had not yet rolled into town and the coronavirus shutdown was more than five years away.

It's a vastly different landscape that serves as the backdrop for the workshops that will take place on March 6 and 7 for "reimagining" Santa Monica's bus system.

“It has been nearly 10 years since Big Blue Bus last conducted a planning effort of this scale," said Transportation Director Anuj Gupta, "and our riders’ needs have shifted drastically during this period.”

Since the last planning effort took place in 2014, ridership on the the City's bus service, which also serves West LA, has plummeted from 18.7 million to less than 7.5 million.

And while the BBB has been slowly recovering from the coronavirus shutdown, ridership remains far below the 12.5 million in 2019 ("BBB Ridership Far Below 2019 Despite 2-Year Rise," January 4, 2024).

Part of the city’s Brighter Blue service planning initiative, the workshops will give community members a chance "to share feedback on Big Blue Bus service improvements," transit officials said.

"The city of Santa Monica is reimagining Big Blue Bus, working with community partners to expand access to fast, frequent, and reliable transportation in Santa Monica and west Los Angeles," officials said in a press release Wednesday.

The two workshops -- a virtual workshop on Wednesday, March 6, and an in-person workshop the following day -- will help BBB "establish a roadmap for implementing system enhancements over the next five years."

The plan will take into consideration the "impacts of COVID-19 on current travel patterns and service conditions," officials said.

It also will consider "changes in the region and operating environment" and BBB's "ongoing transition to a zero-emission fleet."

“We encourage current and future riders to take part in this process as we seek to better align our system with post-pandemic travel behavior, promote greater connectivity with built and planned regional transportation projects, enhance first-last mile connections, and improve bus frequency and travel speeds,” Gupta said.

The March 6 virtual workshop takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. The March 7 in-person workshop takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Santa Monica Main Library at 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.

To attend a workshop, register at Those unable to attend a workshop can also provide input via an online survey at

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